Making a Podcast: Episode Overview
Positivity Strategist host, Robyn Stratton-Berkessel is her own guest this week. She reflects on her experience as a 4 month old podcaster. She conducts an Appreciative Inquiry on herself to share what she’s discovered about making a podcast, what some of her high point experiences of making a podcast are; what she values about the contribution she’s making, and what she aspires to do even more of. She also requests feedback from her listeners – survey link is below.
Let me introduce myself. I’m Robyn Stratton-Berkessel. I’m from Sydney, Australia, living in New Jersey, USA because I feel in love with a German-born American, whom I met in Sydney 16 years ago. I felt compelled to visit him in his home in New York City, and this year we celebrate 15 years of marriage. We have no kids, but a big black fluffy female cat, Neo. We love creative work, traveling, photography, nature, hiking, and keeping abreast of trends.
Empowerment Lights Me Up
Professionally, I am all about empowerment. My question is how we can all claim and live in our own power, so that we can live the best life we possibly can. My interest and awareness in empowerment started when I was teaching English-as-a-second language (ESL) to adult immigrants in Australia. It became apparent to me that these immigrants who came to Australia as a political refugees in most cases could not speak English well, and therefore they had limited opportunities. They were stuck in manual jobs, factory jobs, mostly classified as unskilled laborers, when, in fact, they had been professionals in their countries of origin, or had run businesses.
Giving Voice to All
As I was teaching English in workplaces, I realized that it wasn’t only immigrants who felt stuck and disempowered, but a good percentage of the regular workforce. I had this epiphany that I wanted to give voice to all by actively increasing participation, and collaboration in workplaces. I knew that when people had a voice and could co-create their lives in relationship with others, they came alive and their intrinsic motivation set in and and engagement and productivity and contribution soared.
Stories Bring People Closer Together
I’m also all about bringing people together to value diversity and foster inclusion. When you truly listen to one anothers’ stories, the walls come down and you see each other for the first time and so begins the beauty of true heartfelt connection. If you want to learn more about my views on this, watch my TEDxNavesink talk – go to my website Positivity Strategist and you’ll find the video under the resources tab. It’s called “Playful Inquiry – try this anywhere.”
Sharing What Works
I’ve had a great career to date. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and experience in a number of countries and diverse industries, and am now into spreading what I know works and gives people hope, a sense of possibility. Given the right tools, they’ll feel and act on their own power and find the positive core within themselves.
So I wrote a book, “Appreciative Inquiry for Collaborative Solutions: 21 Strength-based Workshops.” I created an app, “Embracing Change – the App.” And now, I’m having great enjoyment and steep learning in making a podcast, Positivity Strategist.
It’s all through these multi media channels that I can spread my message and connect to the big wide world, I love.
Appreciative Inquiry Interview
If you’re new to Appreciative Inquiry, here’s a simple definition:
“Appreciative Inquiry is the co-operative search for best in people, their organizations and the word around them.”
The first part of the AI interview starts with a discovery question to uncover the subjective experience in a situation, to find out what’s enlivening or makes you feel most successful or most effective or proud. So, I ask myself, “What’s been a high point for me in making a podcast?”
High Points of Podcasting
Listen in to the episode to hear my full response. There are high points in every episode. Each guest is a high point. I am privileged to spend time with talented, gifted people who are doing outstanding work. To date, I’ve had a total of 18 guests: of whom 13 are authors, 15 speakers, 10 coaches, 15 trainers, 11 business people, 3 entrepreneurs. We’ve covered a wide range of topics, contexts and disciplines.
What I really enjoy is when we laugh together. We feel the joy of our connection when we generate an unexpected find that surprises us both and we learn something new together. That’s co-construction of a new awareness or insight. I love that. We co-create something neither of us had ever considered before. I love to listen to my guests share their insights, their best stories, their own surprises. I seek to delight and be delighted.
The Value of the Appreciative Inquiry Interview
It’s a high point when my guests comment that they reconnect to a time when they felt good about themselves and they comfortably articulate what they valued about themselves.
This is the value of the AI interview. We tap into a story that illuminates a strength or talent.
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
The second part of the AI discovery interview is to ask: “Without being humble, what do you value about yourself, your work or your organization?”
You will need to listen in to hear what I value about myself. Other than to say, one of my strengths is ‘humility.’
Muse and Inspiration
However, I take the opportunity to mention how much I value my significant other, my partner in life and business, Juergen Berkessel of Polymash Design. It is he who’s been my inspiration. He knows how important it is to me to spread this way of being and working in the world. He has been my number one support since the beginning. He comes up with concepts and strategies of how I can achieve my dream and then designs how to make it happen.
It was his idea to make a podcast show. He has the skill sets as a graphic designer, musician, knowing about audio equipment, mixing boards, recording, editing, and the entire hosting and submission process, having come from an IT background in corporate America and then pivoting to start-up mode as a product developer, UX professional in application development.
My Aspirations for Positivity Strategist Podcast
In conducting the research, what thrills me is that in the SEO world, in 2012 for the first time, more people started to search for the term “positivity” than “negativity”. In 2014, “positivity” started to really climb.
People are out there looking to increase positivity into their lives. They are searching for strategies to lessen the stress and to minimize fear. We are actively seeking ways to be healthier, and more resilient, more compassionate and connected.
My aspiration is to build this community and have more people share what works for them. I’m looking to increase awareness of the value of positivity as a way to help them really appreciate the simple, exquisite moments of positive thoughts, feelings and interactions in their lives.
In just about every episode, two people repeatedly come up: David Cooperrider, thought leader of Appreciative Inquiry and Barbara Fredrickson whose research into “Positivity” is groundbreaking. Both are professors and both have changed my life and the lives hundreds of thousands of people. They are my key influencers in how I engage with the world, I want to help spread their message and the message of many others who are doing similar work.
Barbara’s latest book Love 2:0 shows us that love bonds between people – and not in the romantic sense – are key to strengthening positivity. What is so mind-blowing to me about this research is that increasing our positivity emerges from really simple acts and it’s available to us all.
To quote from Barbara Fredricksons’s book, Love 2.0:
“Love is that micro-moment of warmth and connection that you share with another human being.”
You’ll find an interview with Barbara Fredrickson on Science, Positive Emotions and her new course in the links section below.
The Face of Love
Just think about it. It’s a smile across the room at a networking meeting. It’s the thank you to the young man who packs your bag at the supermarket. It’s the cookies your friend bakes for you. It’s having a shared experience in company. This kind of love opens us up to experience connection with others. This love shifts us from a pre-occupation with our own worlds. It’s about engaging with others, even strangers in a kind and compassionate way, and in doing so, we’re growing our connectedness. We become aware that we’re in this together. We are co-creators of our shared experience. That’s what being enveloped in positivity is about.
This is what excites me, why I am making a podcast. I seek to bring more of this heartfelt, loving positivity into the world through all my relationships, through my work as a positivity strategist, coach, and as an Appreciative Inquiry trainer, workshop designer and facilitator.
For those of you on this journey with me, I sure love you. To those who have inspired me and continue to inspire me, I’m over-the-top grateful.
Don’t forget you can help share this message of positivity: you can leave a rating and review on iTunes so more people will know about the show and you can give me your feedback by taking our 5 question survey.
It will help me learn more about what you appreciate and help me set my future direction.
Links Mentioned In This Episode:
- Robyn’s website: positivitystrategist.com
- Robyn is @robbiecat on Twitter
- Robyn on LinkedIn
- Positivity Strategist on Facebook
- Embracing Change – the App on Facebook
- Robyn’ TEDx “Talk Playful Inquiry – try this anywhere”
- Positivity Strategist Podcast on iTunes
- Embracing Change – The App on iTunes
- Barbara Fredrickson interviewed on “Positivity Psychology Program on “Science, Positive emotions and her New Course“